This is a good choice for a school Saint Patrick’s Day classroom activity.
The perfect game for a St Patrick’s Day party or anytime! Full of Irish words & phrases!
The King of the Leprechauns Roy Gilroy has had his pot of gold stolen. Who was the devious thief?
Reading level: 6
The school version comes with teacher’s notes.
Some information about Saint Patrick’s Day
Saint Patrick was born in England but was taken as a slave to Ireland as a youth. While he was in Ireland, he received his calling from God. Later he escaped from slavery and eventually he became a priest. He returned to Ireland and spent over thirty years there converting people to Christianity. He gained the attention of King Laoghaire by lighting a fire on the Hill of Slane just as the King was about to light a fire for a pagan ceremonial bonfire. This fulfilled a prophecy that the keeper of a rival flame would come to this area and eclipse their power forever.
Saint Patrick explained the Holy Trinity (ie the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost) to King Laoghaire using a three-leaved plant (possibly a clover leaf) and gained his support.
In Ireland there are various places that are considered healing because Saint Patrick spent time there. For example, the wells in Struell are said to be therapeutic because Saint Patrick used to bathe there.
Dunseverick Castle in Antrim is special because Saint Patrick is said to have ordained St Olcan there.
Nowadays Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated in various areas where Irish people have moved to and it is general celebrations of all that is Irish. People often wear green.
Definitions of some Irish terms:
Leprechaun: In Irish folklore, a leprechaun is a little sprite or goblin. Sometimes ordinary Irishmen and women are also called leprechauns. A sprite is an elf, fairy or goblin. A goblin is a grotesque, mischievous sprite or elf.
Shamrock: A plant with three leaves believed to have been used by Saint Patrick to symbolise the Trinity (ie father, son and the holy ghost). Most people think it was white clover, but it could have been wood sorrel or lesser yellow trefoil.
Blarney Stone: A stone in Blarney Castle near Cork in Ireland said to give anyone who kisses it skills in flattering others.
Overview of the mystery game
The King of the Leprechauns has had his pot of gold stolen. Who was the devious thief? Was it one of the little people or one of the local Irish lads or lasses? Or was it Laoghaire – the High King? Saint Patrick himself is here to investigate.
In the optional "murder version" there is the following addition:
We have just heard that Evan Costello – Laoghaire – the High King's goldsmith has been found dead. It appears that he fell while trying to kiss the Blarney stone at Blarney Castle near Cork. The question is – did he just fall or did someone play a part in his death? And if he was killed, was he killed by the same person who stole the gold, or was it someone else?
Hendo Barrett: "I move about here and there. I'm like a firecracker – I pop up here and there. Sometimes I give people a bit of a fright too because I'm so unexpected. I like watching them jump. Hee Hee!"
What they've said about this mystery
Linette K. Hollandsworth, USA
Linette sent this feedback about her Luck Of The Irish party:
"We live in the Azores, the island of Terceira to be exact, and we decided it would be great fun to do a mystery dinner for entertainment. (Fun is hard to come by on this island.) We are all military or are a military spouse here and we needed to do something different!!
We have our own TV Station here (AFN) and one of the girls who works there and a man that works in our public affairs office emceed the mystery for us and they were a blast!!
We held our dinner 2 weeks ago and 147 people attended!! Of course we only had 37 people play parts but we had 110 spectators. They were all enthralled by the concept of a mystery dinner!
We gave these great bottles of wine with wine charms and wine glasses to the table that solved the mystery.
People are still talking about it! It was a huge success! Thank you for writing such a great mystery and supplying us with a great night of fun, these people came out just for the price of a dinner (the cost the club here charged us) and loved every minute of it!
We want to try to do a fundraiser like this some day (with a different mystery of course) now that we know how well this one was attended. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!
Linette K. Hollandsworth"
Jonathan D. Hathaway, USA
"We had 25 people reserved and over 50 came and I am still hearing how much fun everyone had.
Thanks to you and your easy party kits ours was a success. They want to do it again next year.
Jonathan D. Hathaway"
Carol Valentine, Australia
Luck of the Irish was an appropriate choice as it was only a few days before St. Patrick's Day. It is the second "Merri Mystery" I have organized for my Rotary Club, The Rotary Club of Gawler Light, in South Australia.
The entertainment area in my house is set up like an old English pub, so it was easy to turn it into O'Toole's Irish Pub for the evening.
We had 32 participants and everyone had an absolute ball. We had green beer, stout (my husband is a home brewer) and Baileys Irish cream. I cooked Irish stew which I served with Irish soda bread and followed it with Irish sugar cookies. We even had a crock of chocolate gold coins and gave miniature bottles of Baileys Irish Cream for prizes.
Some of the Irish accents that were heard were absolutely hilarious as we had guests who were Scottish, Indian, Danish and from the north of England!
Thank you for making the game so easy to follow, our club enjoyed a wonderful night of fellowship and we are all looking forward to the next one."
France and Tad Mitchell, USA
See photo no.1 above to see France's photo of her Kissing The Blarney Stone decorations.
France Mitchell sent in this feedback about her "The Luck Of The Irish" party:
"We all had a great time. The King and Queen's last name was so hard for everyone to say that everyone had their own way of saying it. By Act three we were laughing so hard anytime someone mentioned Laoghaire.
It was clean that was nice to see. We had a lot of fun. Thanks for writing this Irish Mystery.
See photo No2. above for France's photo of her husband Tad playing King Desmond Laoghaire at her "The Luck Of The Irish" party.
Tad Mitchell sent in this feedback about "The Luck Of The Irish" party:
"I had a great time. We had lots of laughs."
Mike and Jennifer Thoreson, USA
Mike and Jennifer sent in this feedback about their "The Luck Of The Irish" party (see photo no.3 above):
"We had a great time, and we will definitely do this again!!"
Delores Page, USA
Delores Page sent in this feedback:
"We had our The Luck Of The Irish party last Monday with 25 present..all Sr. citizens, and I was amazed at the energy and enthusiasm it generated. (with a little prodding by the ladies).........(guys!...)..........thanks for your good advice and prompt attention to my previous plight........I made a model of Gilroy Castle out of a long box on end, surrounded it with rough Christmas bough greenery and some weathered barren "trees" and roots.. made two ramp like bridges across a tinsel stream covered with blue cellophane..it covered my round coffee tabletop..and we did add a "Clancy's Pub" out of a tablecloth draped ironing board. for atmosphere..............the gold "coins" were old poker chips sprayed with gilt paint and kept in a green net bag...and lots of prizes..including some SHAMrocks, taken from our roadside and sprayed green.....I considered dyeing an "Erin go Bra" flopper-stopper, but ran out of Time. ...........and an "Emerald Ripple" houseplant.......Queen Mona's robe was a gold chenille bedspread, and she wore every rhinestone bit of jewelry she could find......Empty walmart bags filled the bulging chest, stomach and hips of Una the frog...they were tucked into a baggy pair of bloomers, and felt frog feet covered the top of my shoes..........There was even a map with graphics on a wall with the clues tacked on the board for review.......Thanks for a memorable day!"
Norman Sterling, USA
Norman sent in this feedback (see photo No.4 above):
"Our annual St Paddys bash was a huge hit. This year we used your Luck Of The Irish mystery which I purchased for the event. We had over 30 participants and as you can see from the photos we used a suspect board and some additional "challenges" to make them earn clues.... We even created the "crime scene" in our front yard! As you can see they all got into the "dress for your part" instructions!!
Note: The reading levels of each kit (not just "page" as it says below) were determined by copying and pasting the kit (the meet and mingle for 17 to 30), into The Readability Test Tool (see www.read-able.com).
Some of the Irish mystery game characters
The suspects are:
Hendo Barrett (a leprechaun)
I'm not a grotesque goblin – I'm more of a mischievous elf. People see me sneaking around but I'm no peeping Tom, I just like to keep an eye on what's going on. I pop up here, I pop up there – from behind a bush and so on, but I'm harmless.
Maeve Barrett (Hendo's wife)
I never quite know how Hendo comes up with the housekeeping money he gives me as I never sees him doing any work. When I ask he mumbles something about finding a four-leafed clover. I supplement our income by sewing pointy hats for other elves.
Rory O'Hara (leprechaun)
I'm a traditional cobbler. I mainly make shoes and boots for other little people. I am very hardworking and the shoes I make are very hard-wearing and tough.
Aileen O'Hara (Rory's wife)
I help Rory by polishing the boots he makes. Rory is the best cobbler in all of Ireland and I am very proud of the shoes we make together. When I polish them, they shine so much you can see your face in them. I'm a jolly person and I laugh a lot in spite of my worries.
Magee MacMahon (Irish lad)
I am a blacksmith. My father was a blacksmith and his father before him. I make horseshoes for the little people as well as the normal folk. I am strong and very industrious.
Tara Fitzgerald (Irish lass)
I knit sweaters and I sell them at the market. Some people think I always have my nose in the air and that I act as if I am above everyone. Maybe I am. Or maybe I am just avoiding the bad smells in the gutters around here.
Malone MacSweeney (Irish lad)
I love to play the fiddle fast and furiously. I am a shepherd by day and a musician by night. When I play, feet start dancing and the sheep if they hear, they start moving too.
Bridget O'Connor (Irish lass)
I'm a traditional dairy maid. I helps milk my parent's cows. There's nothing nicer I think than to rest your head against a warm jersey cow while squirting milk into a pail.
Desmond Laoghaire (High King)
I'm a powerful leader. Saint Patrick lit a fire just before I was about to light the official fire in order to get my attention. I was impressed with Saint Patrick.
Mona Laoghaire (High Queen)
I am Laoghaire's wife. I live the luxurious life of a lady of the royal court. I am always admired for my elegance, my beauty and my fine dresses and dainty shoes.